Skip to Content

DNA coding Kruger's plants

Find, identify and discuss the plants of all the SANParks

Moderator: lion queen

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

DNA coding Kruger's plants

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:12 am


User avatar
restio
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2780
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: At work

DNA ‘Barcode’ Identified for Plants

Unread postby restio » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:26 pm

Found on the SANParks website: DNA ‘Barcode’ Identified for Plants

Barcoding is no longer a term only affiliated to consumer goods. Thanks to the research efforts made by Dr Michelle van der Bank of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a group of international scientists, a gene has been identified to distinguish between the majority of plant species on earth.

This gene, which can be used to identify plants using a small sample, could lead to new ways of easily cataloguing different types of plants in species-rich areas like rainforests. It could also lead to accurate methods for identifying plant ingredients in powdered substances, such as in traditional Chinese medicines, and could help to monitor and prevent the illegal transportation of endangered plant species.

The team behind the discovery found that DNA sequences of the gene ‘matK’ differ among plant species, but are nearly identical in plants of the same species. This means that the matK gene can provide scientists with an easy way of distinguishing between different plants, even closely related species that may look the same to the human eye.

The researchers made this discovery by analysing the DNA from different plant species. They found that when one plant species was closely related to another, differences were usually detected in the matK DNA.

The researchers carried out two large-scale field studies: one on the exceptionally diverse species of orchids found in the tropical forests of Costa Rica, and the other on the trees and shrubs of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.


Read the full text.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 16192
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: DNA coding Kruger's plants

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:04 am

This is fantastic and has wonderful implications for the future. I managed to catch snippits of an interview with a Proff from the University of Johannesburg recently on 702. I was sorry that I could not listen to more.

We are fed so much bad news at times and often this kind of research goes quietly unnoticed.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.


Return to “Plants”